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Direct collapse of exceptionally heavy black holes in the merger-driven scenario


Zwick, Lorenz; Mayer, Lucio; Haemmerlé, Lionel; Klessen, Ralf S (2022). Direct collapse of exceptionally heavy black holes in the merger-driven scenario. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 518(2):2076-2087.

Abstract

We revisit the conditions present in supermassive discs (SMDs) formed by the merger of gas-rich, metal-enriched galaxies at red-shift z ∼ 10. We find that SMDs naturally form hydrostatic cores which go through a rapidly accreting supermassive star phase, before directly collapsing into massive black holes via the general relativistic instability. The growth and collapse of the cores occurs within ∼5 × 105 yr from the formation of the SMD, producing bright electromagnetic, neutrino and gravitational wave transients with a typical duration of a few minutes and, respectively, a typical flux and a typical strain amplitude at Earth of ∼10−8 erg s−1 cm−2 and ∼4 × 10−21. We provide a simple fitting formula for the the resulting black hole masses, which range from a few 106 M⊙ to 108 M⊙ depending on the initial SMD configuration. Crucially, our analysis does not require any specific assumption on the thermal properties of the gas, nor on the angular momentum loss mechanisms within the SMD. Led by these findings, we argue that the merger-driven scenario provides a robust pathway for the rapid formation of supermassive black holes at z > 6. It provides an explanation for the origin of the brightest and oldest quasars without the need of a sustained growth phase from a much smaller seed. Its smoking gun signatures can be tested directly via multi-messenger observations.

Abstract

We revisit the conditions present in supermassive discs (SMDs) formed by the merger of gas-rich, metal-enriched galaxies at red-shift z ∼ 10. We find that SMDs naturally form hydrostatic cores which go through a rapidly accreting supermassive star phase, before directly collapsing into massive black holes via the general relativistic instability. The growth and collapse of the cores occurs within ∼5 × 105 yr from the formation of the SMD, producing bright electromagnetic, neutrino and gravitational wave transients with a typical duration of a few minutes and, respectively, a typical flux and a typical strain amplitude at Earth of ∼10−8 erg s−1 cm−2 and ∼4 × 10−21. We provide a simple fitting formula for the the resulting black hole masses, which range from a few 106 M⊙ to 108 M⊙ depending on the initial SMD configuration. Crucially, our analysis does not require any specific assumption on the thermal properties of the gas, nor on the angular momentum loss mechanisms within the SMD. Led by these findings, we argue that the merger-driven scenario provides a robust pathway for the rapid formation of supermassive black holes at z > 6. It provides an explanation for the origin of the brightest and oldest quasars without the need of a sustained growth phase from a much smaller seed. Its smoking gun signatures can be tested directly via multi-messenger observations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Language:English
Date:24 November 2022
Deposited On:21 Nov 2022 08:23
Last Modified:27 Apr 2024 01:41
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac3204
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)